Ryan Mason has revealed that Dele Alli did so well in training over the past week that he could not leave the midfielder out of the starting eleven against Sheffield United.

Alli was handed his first start under Mason on Sunday after coming on as a late substitute in the Carabao Cup final last week.

It was just the second time in the Premier League this season that Spurs had started with a front-four of Alli, Kane, Son and Bale.

Tottenham’s forwards pressed the Blades high up the pitch and looked dangerous every time they won the ball back.

It was Bale who stole the headlines with a brilliantly taken hattrick, his first in a Tottenham shirt since the one against Aston Villa on Boxing Day in 2012.

While Alli did look a little rusty in the first 30 minutes, the midfielder grew into the game and took up some dangerous positions in the second half, making it difficult for the Sheffield United defence to pick him up.

Mason praised the attitude of the England international, who struggled to get game time under Jose Mourinho this season.

The interim Spurs boss told BBC Sport about Alli: “Dele Alli had an excellent attitude. He trained his way into the team.

“He had a really good training week. He gave 100% and had some moments.

“The clean sheet was important, the defence was excellent. It was a very pleasing night for us.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I would not be surprised if one of Levy’s main issues with Mourinho was the Portuguese coach’s refusal to give Dele a run of matches. Whether or not one thinks Dele has been good enough to deserve opportunities, it seems clear that Levy was not keen on selling a player, whose value has dropped considerably over the past 12 months.

Perhaps, the Tottenham chairman wanted to give the midfielder one last chance to prove that he still has a future at the club or to at least regain some of his lost transfer value ahead of the summer. Levy would have surely recognised that it was unlikely to happen under Mourinho.

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